A great place to visit with your kids, or by yourself : Paris “Cirque d’hiver”

Paris Cirque d’hiver ” (Winter Circus) has just been renovated and it’s a good opportunity to visit this lovely building located on a quiet square with a children play ground, at five minute walk from Place de la République, and 15 minutes from Place de la Bastille.

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It was built in 1852 by a prominent second empire architect, Jacques Ignace Ittorff, opening as “Cirque Napoléon”, a tribute to the new emperor Napoléon III, and various shows have been running there ever since.

Toulouse-Lautrec sketched this circus performance in 1887,

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and in 1890 the “cirque d’hiver” inspired a great unfinished canvas by Georges Seurat, to be seen at Paris Musée d’Orsay.

It’s also been the theater or many types of show, from concerts to fashion shows.

mannequin.jpgDovina with the elephants, dress by Christian Dior, photo Richard Adevon August 1955 at Cirque d’hiver.

Since 1934, it’s been operated by the Bouglione family, nowadays showing a genuine circus program called “Vertige”.

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You can take a glimpse inside :

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or get in and follow the clown :

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Or you may just stay out and daydream while looking up at the perfect, colorful and playful combination of the yellow and red friezes, the stain glass windows and the green pediment standing out against the blue sky.

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And if you wish to feel the true circus mood, know all about the program and book your ticket, just go to http://www.cirquedhiver.com/bouglione.html

Cirque d’hiver Bouglione 110 rue Amelot 75011 Paris Metro Filles du Calvaire tel 33(0)1 47 00 28 81. Show “Vertige” up to March 6, Wednesday at 14, Friday at 20.30, Saturday 17.15 and 20.30, Sunday 14 and 17.15.

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